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Signal Processing in Photonic Communications

29 July 2019 – 01 August 2019 Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, Burlingame, CA, California United States

SPPCom covers the state-of-the-art advances in digital and analog (electronic and optical) signal processing techniques for all of these applications, to address the ever-increasing capacity demand, reduce cost per bit, and enable future photonic communication services. SPPCom brings together researchers and engineers from various areas to share their knowledge, cutting-edge research and visions.

The scope of this meeting includes the following two major categories: 1) digital and electronic signal processing, 2) optical signal processing.


Digital and electronic signal processing

  • Spectrally efficient modulation formats in coherent systems

  • Advanced modulation schemes for direct detection systems

  • Channel characterization and equalization

  • Polarization, clock and carrier recovery

  • Forward error correction

  • Signal Coding

  • Implementation of distribution matchers for constellation shaping

  • Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM)

  • Flexible and sliceable transceivers

  • Performance monitoring and signal characterization

  • Digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converters

  • Real-time demonstration and field trials of high-speed electronic circuits and subsystems

  • Demonstration of high capacity transmission

  • Subsystems and digital signal processing for data center interconnects (DCI)

  • Subsystems and digital signal processing for space-division multiplexing (SDM)

Optical signal processing

  • Passive and active all-optical signal processing subsystems

  • Microwave photonic subsystems

  • Optical signal processing with photonic integrated circuits

  • Optical buffering, bit-, and label-processing subsystems

  • Optical packet and burst switching subsystems

  • Performance monitoring and signal characterization based on optical techniques

In addition, four areas of research are covered in more detail: 3) Radio-over-fiber and free space optical communication, 4) Access networks - passive optical networks (PON), 5) Machine learning (ML) in optical communication, and 6) Quantum communications.


Radio-over-fiber and free space optical communication

  • Digital, electronic and optical subsystems

  • Optical-wireless integration and multi-technology converged transmission systems

  • Visible light communication systems

  • Fronthaul systems based on analog radio signals

  • Ground-to-satellite/satellite-to-ground and inter-satellite optical communication

Access networks - passive optical networks (PON)

  • Advanced PON architectures (WDM-PON, TWDM-PON, OFDMA-PON, etc.)

  • Digital, electronic and optical processing for PON systems

  • Signal processing for optical backhaul/fronthaul networks

  • Signal processing for long-reach broadband access networks

Machine learning (ML) in optical communication

  • Channel estimation and equalization

  • Signal characterization and performance monitoring

  • Component and device characterization

  • Physical layer and network side optimization

  • Optical signal processing for neural networks

Quantum communications

  • QKD (signal processing, channel measurement, calibration, error correction and privacy amplification)

  • Quantum random number generation

  • Quantum digital signature

  • Quantum computing

  • Quantum neural networks



  • Camille-Sophie Brès, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de LausanneSwitzerland 
    Optical Poling of Silicon Nitride Waveguides for Enhanced Effective χ(2)
  • Tomislav Drenski, Socionext Europe GmbHUnited Kingdom 
    ADC and DAC: State of the Art and Technology Trends
  • Tobias Eriksson, National Inst of Information & Comm TechJapan 
    Challenges in Parallel Operation of Quantum Key Distribution and Data Transmission
  • Ryan Going, Infinera CorporationUnited States 
    InP-based Coherent PIC for 100Gbaud Operation
  • Takahiro Inagaki, NTT Basic Research LaboratoriesJapan 
    Coherent Ising Machine
  • Maria Vasilica Ionescu, Nokia Bell Labs FranceFrance 
    Challenges in Subsea Transmission Systems
  • Volker Jungnickel, Fraunhofer Inst Nachricht Henrich-HertzGermany 
    Advanced Physical Layer Design for Li-Fi in the Industrial IoT
  • Joseph Kahn, Stanford UniversityUnited States 
    Substantial Capacity Increase via Optimized Power/Bit Allocation in Spatially Multiplexed Power-limited Submarine Systems
  • Ginni Khanna, Technische Universität MunchenGermany 
    Digital Predistortion Techniques for Ultra-high Symbol Rates
  • Thomas Little, Boston UniversityUnited States 
    Visible Light Communications and Hybrid WiFi-LiFi Networks
  • Andrew Lord, BT ExactUnited Kingdom 
    Quantum Technologies Symposium: White Boxes in Optical Networks from Operator Viewpoint
  • Mikael Mazur, Chalmers Tekniska HogskolaSweden 
    Frequency Comb Based High-spectral Efficiency Transmission
  • Ana Pejkic, University of California San Diego 
    High-speed Parametric Processing Controlled by Few Photons
  • Stylianos Sygletos, Aston UniversityUnited Kingdom 
    Nonlinearity Compensation Techniques Using Machine Learning
  • Daniel Tauber, Oclaro, Inc.United States 
    InP Transceivers for Terabit Coherent Optical Communications Systems
  • Dora van Veen, Nokia CorporationUnited States 
    Digital Signal Processing in Optical Access Systems
  • Tsuyoshi Yoshida, Mitsubishi Electric CorporationJapan 
    Digital Signal Processing and Implemantation of Probalistic Shaping



  • Xi Chen, Nokia Bell Labs, United States , Chair
  • Qunbi Zhuge, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China , Chair
  • David Hillerkuss, Huawei Technologies, Germany , Program Chair
  • Koji Igarashi, Osaka University, Japan , Program Chair
  • Benedikt Baeuerle, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • Di Che, Nokia Bell Labs, United States
  • Eleni Diamanti, Universite Pierre et Marie Curie, France
  • Hany Elgala, State University of New York at Albany, United States
  • David Elkouss, QUTech
  • Tobias Fehenberger, ADVA Optical Networking, Germany
  • Neil Gonzalez, National University of Colombia, Colombia
  • Zhen-fu Han, Univ of Science and Technology of China, China
  • Toshimori Honjo, NTT Basic Research Laborarories, Japan
  • Mary McCarthy, Oclaro, United Kingdom
  • Darli Mello, UNICAMP - DFA, Brazil
  • Christoph Pacher, Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria
  • Fabio Pittalà, Huawei Technologies, Germany
  • Danish Rafique, ADVA Optical Networking, Germany
  • Jochen Schröeder, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Naoki Suzuki, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan
  • Akihisa Tomita, Hokkaido University, Japan
  • Lilin Yi, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China


Plenary Session

Keren Bergman

Columbia University, USA

Empowering Flexible and Scalable High Performance Architectures with Embedded Photonics

The explosive growth in data analytics applications that rely on machine and deep learning techniques are seismically changing the landscape of high performance architectures. Driven by these applications, systems' performance is increasingly bottlenecked by the energy and communications costs of interconnecting the numerous heterogeneous compute and memory resources. Recent advances in integrated silicon photonics offer the opportunity of embedding optical connectivity that directly delivers high off-chip communication bandwidth densities with low power consumption. This talk will review these advances and introduce the concept of embedded photonics for addressing data-movement challenges in high-performance systems. Beyond alleviating the bandwidth/energy bottlenecks, embedded photonics can enable new disaggregated architectures that leverage the distance independence of optical transmission. We will discuss how the envisioned modular system interconnected by a unified photonic fabric can be flexibly composed to create custom architectures tailored for specific applications.

About the Speaker

Keren Bergman is the Charles Batchelor Professor of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University where she also serves as the Scientific Director of the Columbia Nano Initiative. Professor Bergman received a BS from Bucknell University in 1988, and a MS in 1991 and a PhD in 1994 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology all in electrical engineering. At Columbia, Bergman leads the Lightwave Research Laboratory encompassing multiple cross-disciplinary programs at the intersection of computing and photonics. Bergman serves on the Leadership Council of the American Institute of Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics leading projects that support the institute's silicon photonics manufacturing capabilities and Datacom applications. She is the recipient of the 2016 IEEE Photonics Engineering Award and is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and IEEE.

Sarah Kurtz

University of California Merced and NREL, USA

A New Era for Solar Electricity

The solar electricity industry has grown so big that it is now bumping up against limits of growth: In 2017, the net expansion of solar electricity generating capacity was greater than the combined net growth of fossil fuel and nuclear electricity generating capacity. As the industry works through a turning point, the technology continues to mature, with the optical design of solar cells becoming increasingly important.

About the Speaker

Sarah Kurtz obtained her doctorate in 1985 from Harvard University and has worked since then at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, Colorado. She is known for her contributions to developing multijunction, GaInP/GaAs solar cells, supporting the Concentrator Photovoltaic (PV) industry, and, more recently, her work with PV performance and reliability.  Her work has been recognized with a jointly received Dan David Prize in 2007 and the Cherry Award in 2012. She has now moved to the University of California Merced, where she is excited to be a small part of California's adoption of renewable energy.

Bryan Robinson

MIT Lincoln Lab, USA

Next-generation Space-based Laser Communications

Recent successful demonstrations have proven that free-space optical communications (FSOC) are possible and capable of exceeding the performance of traditional radio frequency space communications links. Rapid advancement of optical communications technology, driven by developments in the fiber telecommunications industry, will enable revolutionary future space communications systems. This plenary presentation will review the current state of the art for free-space optical communications and discuss efforts underway to provide new operational capabilities.

About the Speaker

Bryan Robinson is the associate leader of the Optical Communications Technology Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. For the past decade, Dr. Robinson has led efforts to develop and demonstrate free-space laser communications systems. He was the lead systems engineer for the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration (2009-2014), where he helped architect the laser communication system, oversaw development of the space and ground terminals, and led the system operations for NASA's first successful demonstration of high-rate laser communications from space. Today he leads a variety of follow-on efforts to develop enabling laser communications capabilities for future near-Earth and deep-space missions, including NASA's human exploration efforts on the International Space Station and the upcoming Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle.


Special Events

Congress Reception - A Culinary Tour of San Francisco

Monday, 29 July 2019, 18:30 – 20:00
Grand Peninsula D

Join us for a Culinary Tour of San Francisco at the Congress Reception. Tickets for this event are included in the registration fee for Technical Attendees. Additional guest tickets can be purchased for US$ 75.

Student & Early Career Professional Development & Networking Lunch and Learn

Tuesday, 30 July, 12:30 - 14:00
Bayside Room

This program will provide a unique opportunity for students and early career professionals, who are close to finishing or who have recently finished their doctorate degree, to interact with experienced researchers. Key industry and academic leaders in the community will be matched for each student based on the student's preference or similarity of research interests. Students interested in all career paths – from those seeking an academic position, to those wishing to start a technology business, to those interested in government/public service, to those looking to translate their benchwork skills to product development – are encouraged to apply.  Students will have an opportunity to discuss their ongoing research and career plans with their mentor, while mentors will share their professional journey and provide useful tips to those who attend. Lunch will be provided.

This workshop is complimentary for OSA Members and space is limited. Not all who apply will be able to attend due to space limitations and priority will be given to those who have most recently or are close to graduation.

Hosted by OSA Foundation 

Workshop: Hands-on Introduction to Data Analytics and Machine Learning in Optical Networks

Wednesday, 31 July, 12:30 – 14:00 (time subject to change)
Bayside Room

Organizers: Carlos Natalino Silva and Marija Furdek, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Please note, participants must supply their own laptop and install the development tools utilized during the tutorial prior to attending this workshop. If you have any questions or issues while installing the platform necessary to follow this hands-on tutorial, please email directly.

In this workshop/tutorial, the audience will be guided through the first steps necessary for applying data analytics and machine learning to optical networks. We will begin with a brief introduction to the fundamentals of data analytics and machine learning. We will then focus on representative optical networking use cases suitable for the application of machine learning. Using the available development tools (e.g., Jupyter Lab), the attendees will be encouraged to explore a previously defined dataset using their laptops. The workshop will enable the participants to perform data importing and selection (e.g., removing samples with missing features), as well as visualizing the dataset characteristics. Normalization techniques will be discussed and applied to the dataset. Then, the attendees will explore the correlation between the different features of the dataset. An unsupervised learning algorithm will be applied to the dataset, followed by a supervised learning algorithm that will build upon the information learned from the unsupervised approach. The tutorial will be concluded with an interactive discussion on the remaining challenges and ideas for extensions.

Congress Banquet (Separate Fee Required)

Wednesday, 31 July, 18:30 – 20:30 (time subject to change)
Domenico Winery, San Carlos, CA

Enjoy the evening with your fellow colleagues amid the aromas of wine aging in French oak barrels at the Congress Banquet. This boutique winery specializes in “Cal-Italia” varietals such as Primitivo, Barbera, and Sangiovese. Come enjoy a glass of wine and a delicious meal with your colleagues! Tickets can be purchased for US $85.

Guided  Google Campus Tour(Separate Fee Required)

Friday, 2 August, 10:00 - 12:00
Google Campus, Mountain View

Thanks to Shuang Yin and Jusue Kuri of Google and members of the NETWORKS Program Committee, 40 attendees will have the opportunity to visit Google Headquarters on Friday, 2 August from 10:00 – 12:00. The visit will include a Google Visitor Center tour, Google Campus tour, and a Google Onsite Merchant Store visit. The expected duration of the tour is approximately 2 hours. Buses will depart the hotel at 09:20, 40 minutes prior to the start of the tour.

Seats are filling up fast for this special event. The cost to attend is $20. If you would like to purchase a ticket please log into your registration and add it as an optional item. You will be asked to enter your confirmation number.

Deadline for registration is Wednesday, 31 July. Should you have any questions or concerns, please email

For all the Google Tour photos, please visit here.


Special Sessions

Symposium: A Light in Digital Darkness: Optical Wireless Communications to Connect the Unconnected

Tuesday, 30 July 2019, 19:00 - 21:00
Grand Peninsula EF

The role of Internet and Communication Technology (ICT) in bringing about a revolution in almost all aspects of human life needs no introduction. It is indeed a well-known fact that the transmission of information at a rapid pace has transformed all spheres of human life such as education, health, and economy to name a few. Despite this tremendous advantages that come with ICT, it is a fact that almost 4 billion people in the world are still “unconnected or under-connected” or suffer from the “digital/connectivity divide,” a term coined in order to emphasize the lack of communications infrastructure in many parts of the world. In this symposium, top experts will offer ways to provide high speed connectivity in rural areas along with efficient and cost-effective backhauling methods for rural traffic. In particular, Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC)-based solutions for both: (i) integrated satellite-airborne-ground networks providing global coverage and connectivity and (ii) terrestrial mesh/multi-hop directive networks connecting far-flung regions of the state will be discussed and debated.

Moderator: Hany El-Gala, University at Albany – State University of New York (SUNY), USA


Title: Smart Villages: When Affordablity Meets Connectivity
Mohamed-Slim Alouini (Fellow IEEE), KAUST, Saudi Arabia

Title:  Loon's SDN and its Applicability in Stratospheric and Satellite Network Operations
Brian Barritt, Loon, USA

Title:  Free-space Optical Communications (FSOC) for Connectivity in the Emerging World
Baris I. Erkmen, X, USA

Title:  Connectivity for the Unconnected Population
Hamid Hemmati, Facebook Inc., USA

Title: THz and Photonic Seamless Networks for Easy-deployable High-speed Access
Tetsuya Kawanishi, Waseda University, Japan

Title: Issues Relevant to Implementing All-optical Technologies for Free-space Optical Wireless Communications Global Internet Connectivity in Remote Places
Arun K. Majumdar, Colorado State University-Pueblo, USA

Title: Development of Hybrid High-throughput Satellite (HTS) Communications System with Optical Feeder Links for the Next Generation Satellite Communications
Morio Toyoshima, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan

Quantum Technologies Symposium

Wednesday, 31 July 2019, 08:00 - 16:00
Grand Peninsula EF

Quantum technology is maturing, with fields like quantum computing and quantum key distribution approaching commercialization. First quantum computers are being made available to the general public and quantum key distribution systems are being deployed. Quantum computers promise a significant increase in the speed at which complex mathematical problems can be solved. As a result, numerous classical encryption algorithms used in telecommunication are in danger of being easily broken. Next to “post-quantum cryptography”, quantum key distribution (QKD) has been proposed as a solution to ensure secure communication in the era of quantum computing. Most systems shown so far are laboratory prototypes to prove the general concept and to build first QKD links, whose stringent requirements for a successful deployment in commercial networks are yet to be addressed. Transforming QKD into a widely deployable technology entails major challenges that require close interaction between the quantum and the telecommunications community. The long history and deep knowledge of classical communication principles from the latter group can support the commercialization of the theoretical findings of the former, leading to more elegant and simpler solutions for future quantum systems.

This symposium will provide an introduction to quantum technologies and a platform to improve collaboration and understanding between the classical communication community and the quantum community. Quantum researchers, classical communication researchers and telecome operators will provide  a broad range of insights.

Chairs & Speakers


Marija Furdek, Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan Kista, Sweden
David Hillerkuss, Huawei Technologies, Germany

Keynote Speaker:

Alexander Ling, Centre for Quantum Technologies, Singapore (Keynote)
Quantum Key Distribution and Miniaturization of Quantum Systems

Part One:

Qiang Zhang, Univ of Science and Technology of China, China (Tutorial)
Quantum Key Distribution

Part Two:

Jelena Vuckovic, Stanford University, USA
Quantum Photonics

Daniel J. Blumenthal, University of California Santa Barbara, USA
Ultra-low Loss Waveguide Platforms for Integration of Quantum Circuits

Imran Khan, InfiniQuant, Germany
Commercialization of QKD

John Gariano and Ivan B. Djordjevic, University of Arizona, USA
SKR Improvement for an Entanglement Assisted BB84 FSO System Using Adaptive Optics

Leif Katsuo Oxenløwe, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
High-dimensional Quantum Communication in Optical Fibres Using Spatial States​

Part Three:

Andrew Lord, British Telecom, IK
QKD and its Application in Future Telecoms Networks

Tobias Eriksson, National Inst of Information & Comm Tech, Japan 
Challenges in Parallel Operation of Quantum Key Distribution and Data Transmission

Akihisa Tomita, Hokkaido University, Japan
A Long-term Secure Data Transmission and Storage Network Based on Quantum Key Distribution

Reza Nejabati, University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Pushing Boundaries of Quantum Secured Networking: Towards a Fully Dynamic Quantum Secured Optical Network

Vicente Martin, Politechnical University of Madrid, Spain
The Madrid Quantum Network: A Quantum-classical Integrated Infrastructure


Best Student Paper Prize

Congratulations to the 2019 Advanced Photonics Best Student Paper Prize Recipients

Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon and Nanophotonics

1st: Qianhuan Yu, High-Responsivity Photodiodes Heterogeneously Integrated on Silicon Nitride Waveguides
2nd: Victoria Rosborough, Monolithic Integration of Widely-Tunable DBR and DFB Lasers with One-Step Grating Formation
3rd: Abu Naim Rakib Ahmed, Electro-Optically Tunable Modified Racetrack Resonator in Hybrid Si3N4-LiNbO3

Novel Optical Materials and Applications

1st: Alireza Shahsafi, Decoupling of temperature and thermal radiation
2nd: Evan Wang, Realization of Topology-Optimized Multilayer Metasurfaces
3rd: Kyun Kyu Kim, Transparent Wearable 3D touch: Self-generated Multiscale Structure Engineered by Laser-induced Thermal Gradient

Optical Devices and Materials for Solar Energy and Solid-state Lighting

Shared 1st:
Raphael Schmager, Nanophotonic perovskite thin-film solar cells by thermal nano-imprint lithography
Woochan Lee, Down-conversion based near-infrared organic light-emitting diodes with high efficiency and low roll-off
Eryn Fenning, Planar Light Guide Concentrators for Building Integrated Photovoltaics

Signal Processing in Photonic Communications

1st: Erik Borjeson, Towards FPGA Emulation of Fiber-Optic Channels for Deep-BER Evaluation of DSP Implementations
2nd: Saikrishna Reddy Konatham, GHz-speed Tracking of the Frequency Spectrum of Complex Continuous Waveforms through Photonic Analog Processing
3rd: Arnaud Dumenil, Low-Complexity PDL-Resilient Signaling Design


Image for keeping the session alive